In case you haven’t seen it yet, this is straight-up SciFi. The King is back.
While there have been other’s like it, this hologram takes virtual reality to a whole new level. It questions the very definition of existence and presence. You can see Michael Jackson, you can hear Michael Jackson, and as shown by the dancers, you can interact with Michael Jackson. The logical half of my brain knew that he wasn’t there, but the sensory part of my brain had no doubt that that was him back from the dead.
From the twitter reactions, it was apparent that this performance elicited deep emotional reactions of fear, wonder, anger, and resurrection-like elation. This wasn’t just another gimmick. This touched people in deep ways, because it played with the sensory half in such a way to make it incredibly real. And it leads to questions. Is it unethical to do this? Is this just as good as the real guy if you can’t tell the difference? Should the dead have a say in who brings them back to life? How far can we take this?
This was a big deal.
Our generation has had the unique privilege of entering a world of casette tapes, VHSs, VCRs, and the Atari, and then witnessing the shift to internet, smart phones, and the Oculus. Are widespread holograms the next frontier? We’re a generation of high expectations, and I believe that the days of doubting technological advancement are over.
How will we use holograms in the future? Here’s 10 possibilities:
1. Tourism – Why fly to Europe when you can project the exact image of the Sistine Chapel or Notre Dame inside a warehouse down the street.
2. Romance – Pay $50, go on a date with Marilyn Monroe or James Dean. Holding hands might be tough, however.
3. 3D Mirrors – Unless you’ve been turned into wax, there is no way to see what you actually look like. Mirrors are flat and reflections are flipped. Seeing yourself in 3D may be the strangest experience of your life.
4. Customized Performances – Pick your top 5 bands/singers, dead or alive. Watch them perform “live” in your living room.
5. Military operations – Send 2 planes, make it look like 2,000. Good luck shooting down the right one.
6. Education – Teachers, have your recorded hologram teach the lesson at the front of the class while you grade papers or relax at your desk. You’ll be there at the end for questions, but your clone can save you from teaching the same lecture 5 times a day.
7. Business – Save on employee costs and buy some hologram cashiers, toll collectors, secretaries, etc. Your customers won’t realize the difference (assuming you’ve programmed enough scripts to cover every situation).
8. Interior Design – Why pay thousands to decorate, buy furniture, and buy nice paintings? Spend a couple hundred on the “Buckingham Hologram Package” and turn your room into a Palace.
9. Virtual Journals – Rather than writing your life down, just push a button and speak/act out your day. Descendants hundreds of years from now can see you, hear your memories, and even pick up on mannerisms that may have been passed down.
10. Skype – Talking to a screen will be a thing of the past. Talk to your loved one face to face from thousands of miles away.